From Serra to Sancho:Music and Pageantry in the California Missions: Music and Pageantry in the California Missions

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Oxford University Press, USA, Jul 21, 2009 - Music - 480 pages
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Music in the California missions was a pluralistic combination of voices and instruments, of liturgy and spectacle, of styles and functions--and even of cultures--in a new blend that was non-existent before the Franciscan friars made their way to California beginning in 1769. From Serra to Sancho explores the exquisite sacred music that flourished on the West Coast of the United States when it was under Spanish and Mexican rule, delving into the historical, cultural, biographical, and stylistic aspects of California mission music during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Author Craig H. Russell examines how mellifluous plainchant, reverent hymns, spunky folkloric ditties, "classical" music in the style of Haydn, and even Native American drumming were interwoven into a tapestry of resonant beauty. In addition to extensive musical and cultural analysis, Russell draws upon hundreds of primary documents in California, Mexico, Madrid, Barcelona, London, and Mallorca. It is through the melding together of this information from geographically separated places that he brings the mystery of California's mission music into sharper focus. Russell's groundbreaking study sheds new light on the cultural exchange that took place in the colonial United States, as well as on the pervasive worldwide influence of Iberian music as a whole.

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About the author (2009)

Craig H. Russell, Professor in the Department of Music at California Polytechnic State University, is steeped in the music of the Hispano-American world, having published over 100 articles in the field. He collaborated with Chanticleer on four compact disks--two of which received Gramophone award nominations. His compositions have been performed worldwide, including major orchestral concerts in Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Sydney Opera House, and Disney Hall.

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